Disclaimer: Don't own or claim rights to Buffy or NCIS
A/N: People wanted a sequel, so here goes. Also, the timeline is a bit [heh!] skewed. This is set in the Summer after Season 3 of Buffy, and towards the end of Season 4 for NCIS.~~~~~
Xander stepped out of the elevator, hitched his backpack, and looked around. The first person he saw was a tall, slender Goth, not one of his favourite subcultures, but she had a silver cross hanging from her collar, and a security pass hanging from her pants pocket, so he squared his shoulders, and walked over to her.
“Uh, excuse me, um, ma'am?” he began hesitantly.
Abby glared at the boy, then, satisfied when he winced, she smiled. “Name's Abby. How can I help you?”
Xander smiled, relieved. “I'm looking for Agent Gibbs. I was told he worked on this floor. Do you know him?”
She narrowed her eyes, but he could see the smile. “And who shall I say is calling?”
Xander grinned. A Goth with a sense of humour. A big change from Sunnyhell. “Xander Harris. Um. He told me to call when I graduated, but, well, here I am.”
“Really?” Abby perked up. “What did you graduate with?”
“Er... A kind of sooty High School Diploma?” he offered.
“You just graduated high school? Oh. Oh, well, congratulations. I'll just go see if Gibbs can see you,” she chirped.
Xander watched as Abby all but bounced further into the room, and decided to just stand about, looking lost. It had the benefit, he decided, of not taking any extra effort, since he was already feeling pretty lost. Nervous, too, since he hadn't spoken to the man since the infamous 'best present ever' incident a year and a half ago.
“Hey, Tony,” Abby chirped as she settled onto her friend's desk. “You're going to need to call Gibbs. Where is he, anyway?”
“He's on the way to the airport. Personal problem,” Tony explained.
“Gibbs has personal problems?” Abby asked, surprised.
“Kind of. It's more a problem with a kid we met a while ago. His high school blew up at graduation, and Gibbs went out to make sure everything's okay.”
“Would that kid be Xander Harris?”
“Harris is here?” Tony asked, jumping up from his seat.
“Waiting back near the elevator.”
“Ziva, get onto Gibbs, tell him Harris is here,” Tony instructed as he strode out to meet Xander. “Harris,” he greeted as soon as he was within speaking distance, “you are deep in the shit.”
“Uh, Agent DiNozzo, isn't it?” Xander straightened nervously. “Is there a problem?”
“Yeah, there's a problem. A little problem of you not calling us before your school went to hell.”
Xander's eyes widened. “Oh. You heard about that.”
“We certainly did,” Tony agreed amiably. “Of course, we didn't hear until McGeek happened to find a report on some little local station just today, and how did a school blowing up at graduation, complete with fatalities, not make the national news? Gibbs is on his way back here to rip you a new one. Nice knowing you,” he added, patting the boy on the shoulder.
“Oh, man,” Xander moaned. “Maybe I should just go.”
“Only if you want him to hunt you down and bring you back. You know that'll just make him mad. Madder.” He folded his arms, and looked at the boy. “What happened?”
Xander shook his head, and wondered how he was going to explain Graduation. “Remember last time you came to town? The reason I, uh, did what I did?”
Tony shuddered. “You hunt … those things … in between homework and dating, and something came to town that was even, God help me, worse. Did I get that right?”
“Sounds about right,” Xander nodded. “Yeah, well. Graduation was like Mark II. Thing is, it was the Mayor, himself. I think he went down as missing, or killed in the explosion, which he really was, but, um, not in any recognisable way. Um. He was way out of anyone else's jurisdiction by the time it all happened. Except maybe the SPCA. I'm not sure if they would claim him. He ate Snyder,” Xander added, smiling at the memory.
“The Principal?” Tony thought. “Wait: 'ate' the Principal?”
“One gulp,” Xander nodded.
Tony stood there for a moment, trying to think about what the boy had just said. Finally, he just nodded. “Well, Gibbs will be back soon. You want a coffee?”~~~~~
Gibbs strode into the bullpen, well aware that his fury was fuelled primarily by his fear for the boy. Xander's high school had blown up, and Gibbs just knew that the boy had at least something to do with it, and that there had to be a very good reason for it. And he hadn't come to Gibbs for help.
“What the hell were you thinking?” he demanded from the boy.
“Uh, there was nothing you could do to help?” Xander shot back instantly, before wincing at what he'd just said. “Er... Plus side? Don't think Ziva's dad's going to be so interested in me anymore,” he grinned.
“And why is that?” Ziva asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Well, your 'cousin' turned up on the day, so I gave him a machete and told him to stay with Giles. He did really well, and I don't think he ever wants to see or hear from me again,” Xander nodded.
“Machete?” Tony asked, paling.
“Um. Yeah. Look, can we talk about this somewhere not a federal institution?”~~~~~
Xander looked around the living room “I was just kind of thinking of a park somewhere. You didn't have to bring me to your house,” he smiled. “So, yeah. Anyway, you said to call you when I graduated, but, well, I'm supposed to be on my Great American Road Trip, and I thought, rather than buy the death-trap from my uncle like Mom and Dad wanted me to, I'd save my money and get a bus out here, so here I am,” he grinned.
“Wow,” Tony murmured to Ziva. “Can you imagine him and Abby together?”
Gibbs glared at the pair of them when Ziva snorted, then turned his attention back to the boy. “What happened.”
Xander shifted uncomfortably. “Okay. This doesn't constitute a confession, does it? 'Cause I'm really not wanting to get into trouble for this. We thought about this for months, and it was the only way we could come up with that didn't involve way more death and destruction.”
“What was the problem?” Gibbs asked.
Xander sighed. “Okay. Well, when you came to Sunnydale, it was because of this … thing. It was more powerful than anything we'd ever faced. The story went that he was brought to Earth to separate the wicked from the righteous, and burn the righteous. What's more, it actually gave him power. Last time, he was defeated by an army who managed to hack him into pieces, but this didn't kill him, and the death toll was impressive. The pieces were separated and buried in different places. Drusilla, however, gathered the pieces and put him back together. And, according to all the information we could gather, 'no weapon forged can kill him.' So... Undefeatable enemy, and not exactly an army available to not-defeat him with. Add to that, one of our big guns defected right at that time, while the other one was … feeling down. The rocket launcher that I am not admitting to stealing was pretty much the only thing we could get quickly to take him down.”
“And now?” Gibbs asked.
“Judge shrapnel is all over the place. Bits in England, bits in the Pacific. I think Giles has sent packages to friends all over the place to bury or toss in lakes, whatever.”
Gibbs nodded his approval. “So Graduation Day?”
“Graduation Day. Also known as the day Mayor Richard Wilkins, the First, Second and Third was going to Ascend to pure demon.”
“Three men?” Tony asked.
“Nope. One guy. He built Sunnydale as a place where demons could feed on humans in safety and comfort. He made deals to gain immortality, and started planning his Ascension a hundred years ago. He was going to Ascend as an olvikan demon. By the time we found out, he had already entered the hundred days invincibility, so we couldn't even target him until the actual day of his ascension, which, surprise surprise, was our graduation day. Pretty much, the graduating class was meant to be his first meal as a demon. 'Cause Ascending is hungry work.”
“So you had to blow up your school to stop him?”
“Technically, he was already an olvikan when we blew him up. He was untouchable until he had already Ascended.”
“Uh, the only Ascension to an olvikan that we could find record of was in Kauai, where a volcano promptly blew up and killed it. Since we didn't have a volcano on site, we decided to kind of make one.” He shrugged. “There was a hummus plan.”
Gibbs glared at Xander, but he didn't think the older man's heart was really in it. “So what did you use?”
“Good old diesel/fertiliser bomb. Simple to access and easy to make. School go boom,” Xander nodded, satisfied.
Tony grinned. “Every kid's dream, hey? Blow up your school.”
“And we even had a really good excuse,” Xander gloated.
“How many did you lose?” Gibbs asked.
That was enough to kill the easy atmosphere, and Xander's grin disappeared. “Too many. It's always too many, isn't it?” he asked sombrely. “The Mayor, of course. Principal Snyder – the Mayor ate him first. I said that, didn't I? A couple of the jocks, one of the cheerleaders. We lost eight students and family all up. Considering it was supposed to be a hundred percent of the graduating class, we got off really lightly.”
“You should have called us, Xander,” Gibbs said, shaking his head.
“No,” Xander argued. “You're federal agents. I couldn't involve you in this.”
“You're eighteen,” Gibbs returned.
“And I've been fighting since I was fifteen. This is my fight. It was my call, my plan, I led the students. You would have been in the way. As it was, I had to farm Ziva's cousin out to Giles so he wouldn't be killed.”
“Ooh,” Tony winced. “Don't think Ziva's cousin would like to hear he was farmed out.”
“After Graduation, I don't really think he would quibble. You haven't seen Giles swing a sword.”
“Point,” Tony conceded. “So what now?” he asked, glancing from Gibbs to Xander.
“Now we think about Xander's future.”~~~~~
“An internship,” Xander repeated doubtfully.
“Yes. An internship,” Gibbs agreed.
“But... I barely graduated. I'm not exactly a grade A student, you know.”
“I'm not interested in your grades. I'm interested in the fact that you, personally, came up with plans to defeat two unusually powerful entities, and carried them out with minimal casualties. I'm interested in the fact that you have a way of seeing things differently. And I'm interested in the fact that you had the balls to face me in interrogation, and didn't end up in a foetal ball at the end of it. I'm also interested in the fact that you keep on doing what you're doing even though no one's making you.”
“Well,” Xander offered, “there was a girl.”
“No girl's worth that.”
“She's really hot!”
Gibbs snorted. “How many times a week are you out there?”
Xander shrugged and scuffed the floor. “Depends on the time of year, I guess. Three or four times, maybe five times a week in the Spring. But it's not like I do it all by myself.”
“I spoke to Giles,” Gibbs began. He watched the boy's head come up, eyes narrowed, body tense. “He said Buffy was gone, Summer before last, and so you organised the rest of you to maintain patrols. You all survived the Summer without your main hitter.”
“Didn't do much,” Xander dismissed. “Survival was pretty much all we achieved.”
“You're teenagers. Surviving in a war zone is a very important achievement, and one you shouldn't dismiss.”
Xander sighed. “I'm not going to win this argument, am I?”
“Fine. Sign me up, then. But you're the one who's going to explain to the Director when this all goes belly-up.”
Gibbs smirked with what Xander decided was an inappropriate amount of glee as he handed over the paperwork. Still. Might be something to impress the girls with.